tapestry weaving

Dumfries 3 – Sound and Weave

The most important reason for me to visit Dumfries was to check out Gracefield Arts Centre and the space in which I would have work in an exhibition later in the year. The British Tapestry Group exhibition “Sound and Weave” is now on at the arts centre and runs there until 29th September.

Gracefield Arts Centre

My tapestry is experimentally interactive with light sensors embedded in the weave – the sensors trigger different field recordings layered over a looping background soundscape when they are cast into shadow by, for instance, the viewer’s hand or body.

“Experimental” is the key work here and it proved a challenge to calibrate the sensors to react at their optimum in a space with lighting quite different from my studio. In this instance I am happy for the interactivity of the tapestry to be sensitive to the changing ambient light as much as the gallery lighting and human intervention, but in future venues I will provide my own lighting with a view to a tighter control of the sensors.

The videos below show both my own tapestry “in action” and the other works in the exhibition. Thanks again to Dawn, the Arts Officer at Gracefield, and all the BTG people involved in setting up the exhibition. It will be my turn when it comes to Swansea in March 2019!

If the videos do not show below in your browser, please click the links below to view them on Vimeo.

INTERCONNECTION at Gracefield Arts Centre


Sound and Weave at Gracefield Arts Centre


Posted in art, Art Galleries, Sound, Travel, weaving and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .


  1. This exhibition is incredible! So much imagination and creativity. Alastair’s makes me want to be there in front of it, to explore and find out what sound the tapestry will ‘make’ next!

    • Thanks Jane. The sounds triggered by the sensors relate to our inevitable interconnection with the natural and man made environment and our conflict with it.

  2. ‘Interconnectedness’ says it all, Alastair, working as a metaphor, a commentary and a piece of art. Wonderfully conceived and carried out — hats off to you.

    • Thank you so much Chris. Everyone has been very complimentary about it. It is gratifying after all the hard work I put in – over a year of weaving plus the sound and electronics. Thanks again

  3. I so enjoyed your tapestry in the first video, as well as the exhibition in the second video, Alastair. Incredible ingenuity in placing sensors in your rich tapestry, and what a wonderful combination of your many talents. I appreciated going in close to see the elegant weaving. Also enjoyed seeing the other artists’ work at the exhibition. Such creative ideas that came to fruition in a marvelous way. Enjoyed the speaker’s talk on art and creating, another wonderful look at your art, and liked, among other exhibits, the Mahler finale tapestry too. Thanks for sharing this, and congratulations to you — what an accomplishment!

    • Thank you very much indeed Jet. I hoped that getting close to my tapestry would be enjoyed by some. Everybody has been very complimentary to me and all are excited by the exhibition. I love Margaret’s Mahler piece too. I have exhibited with her before in Europe and the UK and know her work well. Thanks again – it’s good to see you back

  4. I have only just given myself enough time to really enjoy this post. it is FABULOUS!. I just love interactive art and you know how much I love those squeaky metal gate recordings. Each element of your work is exquisite – to have them coming togethr like this is just amazing. Good luck with your exhibition in March. With enough notice I might be able to visit – ooooh – that is an exciting prospect! What are the dates?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.